Need for body care
The hamster is a clean animal. It does not need to be bathed. Should cleaning still be necessary, you can gently wipe it with a damp, lukewarm cloth. You should also give the hamster sand so that it has the opportunity to sand bath to get rid of natural oils in the fur. Wild hamsters live in desert areas, so sand bathing is natural for them.
The cage should contain something that causes the hamster to wear down its claws itself, for example a rough rock.
Hamsters’ teeth grow throughout their lives. It is therefore important that they wear naturally and are checked regularly. If the animals get enough to gnaw on, for example branches and wooden toys, this usually regulates itself. If the teeth grow too long or crooked, they need to be ground. This should be carried out by a veterinarian.
Health and illness
A healthy hamster has clear, shiny eyes, a dry nose and smooth, shiny fur. It can be difficult to detect if the hamster is sick. This is because it has a careful body language, but also because it sleeps during the day. You can notice if the hamster is active or if it also sleeps during its normally active period, and look for signs of well-being or unhappiness.
Some signs of poor welfare or illness in the hamster may be that the hamster
- stays in a hiding place most of the time
- bites on the cage° performs excessive grooming
- changes eating or toilet habits
- drinks unusually much and often
- sitting crouched – won’t move
- jump in “salto”
- have watery or abnormally dry eyes – have diarrhoea
- has a poor appetite
- has heavy breathing – has poor balance – sneezes
- scratches constantly° has tumors
- lose fur
Hamsters can be infected by people with colds, and vice versa. You must therefore make sure that people in the household who have a cold do not have close contact with the hamster.